ESL Workbooks

ESL Workbooks If you are looking for ESL workbooks to use with your students, either in class or for them to use as homework tasks, then you have a number of options.

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Workbooks linked to course books

If you are using a particular course book with your students, then it makes sense to use the workbook associated with the title.

Popular course books such as Cutting Edge, Inside Out, International Express – in fact most titles – also have a workbook.

Sometimes the workbooks come in different editions: with or without answers, and with or without a DVD or CD-ROM.

There are advantages to these ESL workbooks:

Firstly, they will follow the same syllabus as the course book and will provide exercises that build on what the students have already done. They will reinforce the teaching that has taken place in the classroom.

If you are using these books for homework, the big advantage is that they are great for self-study as they can usually be purchased with the answers in them. This means less marking for the teachers!

The course workbooks also have a mixture of activities. They usually include grammar exercises, vocabulary, pronunciation activities, reading and sometimes listening.

The biggest disadvantage of these books is that they can be expensive. Also, they don't really offer much visual variety to students as they will be in the same format as the course books.

Independent workbooks

If you want to find something that is different from the course book, or if you are not using a course book, then there are many alternatives.

Some of my favorites are the Oxford English Grammar Course, and the English in Use Series. Both are suitable for self study or, to supplement activities in the classroom.

Unlike the workbooks associated with course books, they usually have grammar explanations followed by practice questions.

Disadvantages of these are that they are not usually very interesting visually, and that they usually only practice grammar skills.

There are many other options, such as the English Short Stories book and workbook.

English Short Stories Book and Workbook (ESL Short Stories and Exercises)

Make your own workbooks

If you don't like, or are unable to use, either of these options, then you can create your own workbooks for students to use.

This takes skill, time, and effort, but once you have one prepared, you can keep it as a master copy for future use.

There are many websites with printable ESL resources, and to create your own workbooks you can simply print out the worksheets you want, and make them into a booklet.

You can vary the tasks, cover the elements you want to cover, and make it as visually interesting as you like.

One big advantage of this is that it can be cheap, it can be tailored to the class/students you are teaching, and the students can even get involved with its creation, perhaps selecting some of the items to be included, or creating their own worksheets to be included in other students' books.

The internet

If your students have access to the internet, then they can use one of the many websites with workbook-style activities on them as ESL workbooks.

One such example is the English Grammar Exercises section.

This also has the advantage of breaking up a lesson and changing the dynamics of the group for a short time.

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